FirstNell Loan App Review: online loan app in Nigeria

FirstNell loan app is a Nigerian online personal loan platform that offers safe and fast micro and medium loans. The smartphone app allows users to borrow up to ₦60,000 unsecured with no collateral and minimal documentation.

An unsecured loan is a type of loan that does not require collateral or downpayment to obtain. It is usually short-term with very high interest rates.

FirstNell claims that all loan applications are approved and sanctioned by CBN(Central Bank of Nigeria) and communicated upfront during Loan application. But there’s no any evidence for this. This claim is more of just a marketing stunt as the CBN has no record of approving or sanctioning any online loan app. You are responsible for your own safety and security when taking loans online.

Merit Finance Credit Corporation Limited is a Systemically Important Microcredit Company within the group companies carrying the Soft Naira brand.

Merit Finance Credit Corporation Limited built the FirstNell as a Free app.

Do not borrow from an online loan app to fund your lifestyle. Short-term loans are helpful in emergencies but can quite expensive when compared to long-term loans and should be used with care.

FirstNell loan app makes getting a personal loan simple by using the data on your phone including your information to verify your identity and create a credit score.

Getting a loan in Nigeria through the banks and other official sources can be time consuming and requires documentation like collateral which most people don’t have. Which is why services like this can be very useful especially during emergency.

Although the app is still relatively new, customer’s review is encouraging. The app has so far gained over 10k downloads on Google play store with mixed reviews. It uses a loan software to collect prospective customers information including phone records, banking transaction alerts, BVN to build the credit score of each borrower.

To qualify for higher amounts, be sure to keep good bank transaction messages on your phone and do not have outstanding debts with other loan apps!

How to Download APK and get a loan from FirstNell loan app

  • Download the FirstNell personal Loan App available on the Google Playstore and install on your Android phone.
  • Register an account with your phone number.
  • Preferably the phone number connected to your BVN as a one time password will be sent to it for verification.
  • Fill in your basic Know-your-customer KYC information, including your residential address, next of kin and employment details.
  • You will also be required to provide your Biometric verification number BVN.
  • You’ll be charged N30 to bind your ATM card to your account to increase your chances and get a higher loan amount.
  • A one-time password OTP will be sent to your phone to confirm your details.
  • After the submission of your loan application, the software will analyze your credit score and the final result will be shown in the APP.
  • The result should be displayed in less than two minutes and if you qualify for a loan, the loan amount will be disbursed into the bank account in about 5 minutes.
  • Make sure you’re using a good phone with enough memory space as you will be required to take a clear live selfie for identification.

Note that binding your ATM card with N30 does not guarantee that you will get a loan, you still have to pass the credit score check.

The N30 charged to bind your ATM card to your account is refundable, but can take anywhere from 7 to 12 business days for the money to be refunded back to your bank account.

Your BVN is linked to your credit score, so if you have an outstanding loan with other lenders or didn’t pay other lenders as at when due, expect your application to be rejected.

Your credit score is a record of your previous borrowings, how early or late you make your payments, cash transactions going in and out of your bank account among other information.

When you download this app you have to consent to it to get access to your phone book contacts that will serve as your guarantors, SMS to see your banking transaction records, apps on your phone to see how you use other loan apps and other details it uses to build your credit score.

Although FirstNell does give loans to some customers, others have complained that the app deducted money from their banks after binding their ATM cards, be careful when using this loan app.

Is FirstNell loan app legit or scam?

Yes, FirstNell loan app is a legit loan app that gives micro and medium term loans up to a maximum amount of N60,000 to customers, but has really high interest rates and bugs that prevents smooth registration. caution should be taken before taking any online loan. Always read other customer’s reviews before you apply for a loan in Nigeria.

You should know that these loan apps are not registered or regulated by the CBN or any government agency in Nigeria. You are responsible for the security of your transactions with them and there is no way to seek redress for poor customer service.

Also its availability on Google play store does not make transactions performed on it secure. The play store merely provides an avenue for download, you are responsible for your own security while using loan apps in Nigeria.


  • Easy and smooth registration process.
  • Does not defame customers when they come short in repaying their loans unlike most loan apps operating in Nigeria.
  • Can be used by students in times of emergency
  • It’s legit, has been confirmed by admin that they actually do give loans.
  • Completely online with no collateral required.
  • High loan amount, up to 80k.


  • Short loan duration especially for new users, starts at just 7 days.
  • Very high interest rates on small loan amounts.
  • High rejection rate.
  • The app only works on Android smartphones.
  • Networking issues that can sometimes prevent card binding.
  • Can disburse loan to your account even when you don’t accept the terms, and you have to pay the high interest
  • Starting loan is usually just 1k for new customers.

When taking loan, be mindful of the repayment plan. If you take a 60 days loan with two repayment installments, the app might attempt to auto debit you on the due date of the first installment and even charge overdue charges before the end of your 60 days tenure.

You can change your ATM card password to prevent auto debit. This app has been reported to deliberately auto debit their customers even after they have made payments via bank transfer.

Because there is no regulations in Nigeria, most of these apps are loan sharks who might threaten to send messages to your family members calling you a scammer if you default on your repayment. It is best to avoid these apps if you have other options.

If you’re being threatened or bullied by any loan shark in Nigeria, see this Facebook group where you can find support and read about the experience of others who have suffered bullying from loan apps.

What other borrowers are saying about FirstNell loan app

Adegbuyi Omobolanle wrote, “Please i didn’t apply for your loan because i saw the amount of 1600 in 7days to pay 2435 but you credited my account without my permission. Anyway, I’ll pay you on due date but please after the payment remove my information on your data base because I your offer is too low.”

Sarumi Selimot wrote, “Very good apps, I received money within a minute.”

Omoye Dennis wrote, “How can u give a 9k and expect me to pay back 17plus in 6days? Is this not fraud in broad daylight. Pls I don’t need ur loan, what I saw on ur app was 9k to pay back 13k. Just know I’m not paying a dine.”

Interest rate?

What First Nell offers
Loan amount: ₦50,000 – ₦250,000
Loan term: the shortest is 91 days, the longest is 365 days
Daily interest rate: 0.0057%
Maximum annual interest rate APR: 20.55%

Calculating the number is very easy. For example, if you choose a 12-month 100,000 loan principal, we
will show the details below:
Installment plan: 12.
Principal: ₦100,000.
Amount of expenditure: ₦100,000. Amount of expenditure = principal – expenses ₦100,000 – ₦0 = ₦100,000.
PMT (monthly payment amount): ₦10045.8. PMT = ₦100,000 x (1 + 20. 55%)/ 12 = ₦10045.8.
Total interest: ₦20,550.
Total amount: ₦120,550. Total amount = principal + Total interest = ₦120,550.
Total interest rate: 20.55%. Total interest rate = total interest / principal * 100% =, ₦120,550 / ₦100,000 * 100% = 20.55%.
Monthly interest: 1.71%. Monthly interest = total interest rate / installment = 20.55% / 12 = 1.71%.

Note that this interest rate and loan duration is just an example, expect your actual loan and duration to be much lower, but you can improve it by paying back your loan on time and keeping a good credit record.

FirstNell app customer service number

Address: Trans amadi industrial layout of community secondary school road, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
E-mail: [email protected]
Mobile: +234 8056294848.
Working hours:
Monday to Friday: from 9:00am to 6:30pm
Saturday to Sunday: From 10:00am to 6:00pm


A writer! Columnist and an academic researcher


  1. I hate this app there all fraudster imagine them not allowing me to make payments at my own convenient time and busy sending useless threat messages

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